The closing power of positioning, Pt. 2Article added by Steve Lewit on August 22, 2012

Steve Lewit

Buffalo Grove, IL

Joined: February 27, 2008

My Company

The secret to empowering clients to empower themselves to buy lies in positioning the sale in a way that engages the deep emotions that drive people to change from what they are currently doing. Remember, emotions, not intellect, always drive change.

In part one, we looked at how the positioning of the sale can emotionally drive people to buy without the use of old-fashioned, traditional selling and closing techniques.

In my selling world, as I keep telling you, I don’t do any of the manipulations taught by the old selling masters — warm-ups, tie downs, trial closes, hot buttons, and, most especially, closing. While most selling professionals study closing techniques of all kinds in order to get the sale, I study techniques which make my clients buy on their own volition, thereby bypassing any need for a closing, tie down or any other manipulative selling technique.

The secret to empowering clients to empower themselves to buy lies in positioning the sale in a way that engages the deep emotions that drive people to change from what they are currently doing. Remember, emotions, not intellect, always drive change.

While many of the ideas, strategies and plans that you put together for clients may make intellectual sense, unless your clients are emotionally connected to those plans, they will not buy them. No emotion simply equals no sale, because without emotional energy to drive them, people will not act.

You have all had clients tell you how brilliant your plan is, but that they were still willing to pass on it. Why? Because the intellect only understands, it does not drive action. Only the emotions drive action — so much so that a person will run into a burning house to save a child even though his or her intellect is screaming that running into the house is probably the stupidest thing to do.

To engage client emotions, you must take your sales to a very high conceptual level. That’s where Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which I introduced in part one, comes into play. As you recall, it is the second level of Maslow’s hierarchy, the level of safety, a highly emotionally-charged level, where we want to position ourselves. To get clients to convince themselves to buy, your entire sale must always be raised to this emotional level.

If you dig deep enough, you will find that the root of all negative emotion is fear (or, in Maslow’s terms, “safety,” which is the absence of fear). Fear expresses itself in a myriad of emotions, including anger, hate, disappointment, jealousy, greed, stress, distrust, low self-esteem and narcissism.

Fear is like a fuel that ignites all these other emotions. These emotions, rooted in fear, are what most people are seeking to reduce or eliminate when they come to see us. My rule is, it’s never about the money — never; it’s always about life!
When people come to you to talk about running out of income; about losing money in the market; about paying taxes and anything else they may think of, what is really driving those people is a deep-rooted fear that they want to eliminate or reduce.

This is why one of my first conversations with clients involves finding out whether their emotions are so strong that they will make a change.

I always ask, “Is status quo an option?”

If their fear is not deep enough, and they can live with their emotions, then the chances of a sale being consummated are very low. People do not buy intellectually. If the emotional drive is underwhelming, no matter how hard you (or I) try to close the sale with a client like this, they will run from it.

Here’s an example to consider. A man is run over by a car. He is lying on the ground with bones broken and bleeding profusely. Another person comes over and says, “I’m a doctor, tell me where it hurts.” Do you think the man on the ground turns to the doctor and says, “Wait a minute — what school did you go to? Where did you graduate in your class? Do you have liability insurance? How long have you been practicing? How old are you? Have you had a cold in the last week?”

You see, if you employ Maslow’s hierarchy and raise the positioning of your sale to a highly emotional level where clients are in touch with their fear, with their pain that they want to somehow get fixed, your clients will stop asking you all kinds of nit-picking technical questions, stop wallowing in useless details that confuse their true purpose of meeting with you, and will drive themselves to buy from you because you are the person sitting in front of them with the solutions.

Just ask your clients (with Maslow’s Hierarchy sitting in front of them), “John, if we do this and that with your money, will it shift the second level for the better, and will it shift it enough that all the areas above this level — areas of self-esteem, relationships, love, personal growth — will also improve? Because, John, if changing your finances doesn’t improve the overall quality of your life, why make any changes at all?”


The next time you find your sale mired down in details, or simply going nowhere, immediately raise the conversation to the highest emotional level you can. I recommend, of course, using the level of safety/fear in Maslow’s Hierarchy. If the conversation you are having with your client does not take on some emotional meaning, then both you and your client are just wasting time — and you both need to move on.

Emotions rule all change. No emotion equals no sale. Always position your sales for emotion and everything you want from your sales calls will come your way.
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